Happiness as a choice for the clinically depressed?
January 9, 2013 3:28 AM Subscribe
I've been constantly told that key to being okay again is to "choose one's happiness" - both by strangers on the internet and the very closest people in my life. I've been diagnosed with mild-to-severe depression and anxiety for three years now (there is a bit more to that, though). Since most of the before-mentioned friends (etc) wanted me to stop taking antidepressants, I am without them for now. So, since everything I found by sending my queries to Google was meant for "normal people" who are "feeling a bit depressed", I would be grateful to know how these approaches apply to those with actual mental health issues, if they do at all.
posted by 9080 to human relations (36 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry if I get a thing or two wrong here. First time using AskMeFi ever. Let me know if I mess this up....
Background: I'm 19 years old (male) at the time of asking the question, and since my life starting to go severely downhill 3 years ago, my stance on this has changes several times. Met a wonderful partner in which I was in a relationship for two years, before she left me - reason: I was too depressed; it was bringing her down. This definitely contributes to the reasons I am asking the question here, but only a question on its own would do the matter justice. I'll spare you the details for now. Still trying to graduate; not having a job right now. Receive a small amount of compensation that the social security on mental disabilities allow; otherwise living with my mother still.
Country of residence - one of those ex-USSR countries, so English is obviously not my first language. We have social security here, and the cost of antidepressants, although not a nice zero, is pretty low.
Mental health problems: depression ranging from mild to severe - occasionally manageable, sometimes even absent, but for the most part, I am down in the dumps. Anxiety - both social, and uh, regular kind - which means that I do not react well to stress for the most part, which, in turn, makes it hard to focus on school, which makes the grades go down, which makes it increasingly hard to stay positive on the whole situation.
Origin of the question: I see that the reasoning of "just choose the path to happiness yourself" has been in the air for a long time, but only when my ex brought it up, I started to really consider this approach. Me being myself, I spent a good portion of my day Googling how the hell I am supposed to do that, but did not come up with much. She did not have a very clear grasp of it either, and the same goes for everyone in the circle of my closest friend I've talked to. Just make the right decisions. Choose to deal with a problem in a positive way.
I guess I'll stop here for a bit.
Despite what the society has been telling me for good nineteen-eighteen years, someone feeling down for an expended period is very much a good reason for others to leave him or her. Had to learn it by experiencing the alienation myself, as spending tons of time online doing research on how to not mess up a relationship did not warn me on this - which makes me think that mental health has become a generally isolated issue; it is not often viewed in combination of close human interaction, such as friendships or relationships. However, I feel that both of them are essential parts off me enjoying my life. I want them. I want people to be able to be close to me. In order to do that, I must either be or appear happy.
In case their own suggested approach is invalid here, let me know of other solutions to look into.